Roman Holiday — Pandemic Style

Recently my dear friend and fellow foodie Sinesia Karol took time from designing her eponymous swimwear line to host a special “SK Experience”.  As someone with whom I share many interests in food, wine, fashion and art, and having travelled to Rome with Sinesia, when she mentioned this special opportunity I was on board.

Our Roman adventure began with the delivery of a basketful of top-notch ingredients essential for a traditional Spaghetti Carbonara, imported dried spaghetti, parmesan Reggiano, pecorino Romano, guanciale and a gorgeous white truffle (like gold!). Finished with the slowly crisped guanciale and shaved truffles, it turned a rainy #throwbackthursday into a delicious #travelthursday.  

Via Zoom, special guest chef Ginevra Antonini, a celebrated Italian TV chef, supervised an authentic preparation of the classic Italian dish. While many think carbonara as a cream heavy dish, the true version is a simple preparation of eggs, egg yolks, cheese, the rendered fat of the guanciale and ground pepper (enough that you can see it!).

Cooking in my kitchen reminded me of many cooking experiences in Italy. The two most special opportunities, however,  I enjoyed with Violante Guerrieri Gonzaga who lives in her family house Palazzo Taverna, in the center of Rome.  Always with my husband, and both times with friends, Vio shares the secrets of refined Italian cooking without fuss, but with the freshest ingredients.  The experience at Vio’s starts with the stunning views from her rooftop garden, complete with a view of the Vatican, to her charming kitchen where the recognizable scent of garlic, tomatoes, basil and well, just la dolce vita, waft about.

Vio explains easily the meal planning while sharing much about herself, her family, and really the Italian spirit and capacity for love and life. After wonderful banter, hands on prep of a delicious 3 course meal, all participants (of which there are only ever, very few), we adjourn to enjoy the spoils of our labor. Vio’s stunning alfresco table, set with her collection of personally designed tabletop, is the perfect backdrop as the sun slowly sets.

On Instagram follow Sinesia @sinesiakarol and Chef Ginvera @mood.ginevra and Vio @vioscooking

then have a glass of wine and abbondanza!